As a state representative and a proud member of a military family, I write to express my deep concerns about the proposed rule change by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that would reduce reimbursement rates for air and ambulance emergency services. This decision has significant implications, particularly for the residents of New Mexico, given our rural nature, and it jeopardizes the timely and effective care our veterans rightfully deserve.

Coming from a military family, I have a profound appreciation for the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families. These selfless individuals put their lives on the line to safeguard our freedom, and it is our duty to provide them with the highest quality care and support when they need it most.

The proposed rule change, which would reduce reimbursement rates for air and ambulance emergency services, is worrisome for several reasons. New Mexico, a predominantly rural state, faces unique challenges when it comes to providing health care services, especially emergency medical transportation. Our rural areas often require air or ambulance services for swift and lifesaving transport to medical facilities, ensuring the best chances of recovery for our veterans.

By reducing reimbursement rates for these essential services, the VA’s proposed rule change has the potential to adversely affect not only our veterans but also the entire medical infrastructure that supports them. Ambulance services play a vital role in the timely delivery of critical care, and any reduction in reimbursement rates puts a strain on these services, leading to potential delays or reduced availability of emergency transportation.

Our veterans have already sacrificed greatly for our country, and it is our responsibility to ensure they receive the care they need, regardless of their geographic location.

Together, let us stand up for our veterans and advocate for their unfettered access to timely and lifesaving care. By doing so, we reaffirm our collective commitment to honoring the service and sacrifices of those who have given so much for our great nation.

State Rep. Joshua Hernandez

Rio Rancho